Monday, April 19, 2010

Share Your Story!

I think one of the biggest obstacles that we face in pursuing our relationship with God and operating in the ministry that He has called us to is letting go of our past. For me personally, there was a lot of regret, shame, and guilt over things that I had done or things I had neglected to do. Past failures, mistakes, and disappointments that we have never let go of have a tendency to hide in the cracks and crevices of our heart, resurfacing at strategic times to bring condemnation or convince us that we can never go beyond where we are. If allowed, our mind can paint images of ourselves that are far from how God sees us.  If we do not know the truth, we will succomb to the lies that are meant to hold us captive and prevent us from fulfilling our destiny.

In and of myself, no matter how "good" I am, I can never be good enough to deserve what Jesus has done for me. Even though I always make better choices than I did when I was away from God, self occasionally tries (and succeeds) to rise up with selfishness, greed, pride, bad know the ones! when I totally blow it with my kids or say things to my husband out of hurt that I can't take back. I always feel like a real winner when that happens. I have learned that if when I mess up, I just need to take a deep breath, step back, be quick to ask for forgiveness, and start over. I even try to use those moments as opportunties for teaching and growing.

Imperfect in all my ways, there is One who emcompasses all that I was created to be, One who possesses all the qualities and charactersitics that I long to reflect. God, in all His majesty.....Jesus, perfect in every way....Holy Spirit, comforter and so much more.....3, yet One. Father, Son, Holy Spirit. He Who knew me before I was in my mother's womb (Jer. 1:5), He Who thinks good thoughts toward me (Jer. 29:11), He Who is love (1 Jn 4:9).... loves me!

I continually remind myself what God says about me, who He says I am, and that He has good things in store for me. As I do this, just as the sun rises every morning forcing the darkness to hide or lose its existence, so does the hope that is on the inside of me - rising to dispell any negative thoughts or discouragement that may have crept in. I remind myself that my Father's love is unconditional. Immersing myself in His presence, I see how beautiful He is and become unaware of anything else, because nothing else matters in this moment. His grace falls like rain, covering every inch of my being.

My past is who I was, not who I am, but it will always be part of my testimony. We each have a story to share, telling of obstacles we have overcome, lifestyles that have been changed and all the grace, mercy, forgiveness, love and goodness of God that came with it! And everytime we share our story, it not only has the ability to set someone else free, but it helps us to continue to overcome the enemy in our own life and strengthens our faith.

"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death" (Revelation 12:11).

Within each day lies the opportunity to embrace or reject the path that has been set before us.  Our lives cross so many people who have no hope and do not know that there is One Who loves them more than any other.  Look for the opportunity to encourage someone today. Let them know what God has done in your life. Use your story, your testimony.  Don't allow your past to determine your future.....use your past to go forward and step into the ministry God has called you to!

"Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses" (I Timothy 6:12).

4 friends had this to say:

Anonymous said...

I've learned the same: to step back, ask for forgiveness and grow. At times I'd wallow in defeat/mistakes for too long.

Thats really deep that we are overcome by ...the word of our testimony. How else are we going to minister to people without a testimony. "God is amazing!" "How?" "i don't know, He just is." =Not really helping.

Being able to connect to someone through our life's story is a powerful witness to Christ. I may not have lived on the streets, but something in my life has happened that can connect to the feeling of homelessness or whatever someone else may be experiencing. Love this post!

Anonymous said...

He is so good to us...

He love us with a love that seems so unbelievable..and then asks us to give it to eachother

Great Post!! :0)

Stacy said...

You are SO right. If we allow it to, the past can hold us prisoner, robbing us of our future and the good Christ desires to do in us and through us.

Yet, when we are willing to take our past (something that Satan meant for our harm) and share it AND the victory God has given us over it, (using it for good), it becomes a vessel through which Christ can bring healing and freedom to others.

Our story is living proof of God's miraculous life-saving, life-changing touch in our life. When we have walked the same road that another is now walking, our testimony brings hope. Christ has done it for us, and He will do if for them.

Thanks for sharing...and for encouraging me to do the same!

Warren Baldwin said...

These thougths from the Bible can transform any life, no matter how desperate their hurts and needs at the moment. Very well stated.